tv U.S. Senate CSPAN July 18, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask that the calling of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to consider a nomination, which the clerk will now report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, j. paul oetken of new
york to be united states district judge for the southern district of new york. mr. grassley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: today the senate will vote on the nomination of j. paul oetken to be united states district judge for southern district new york. today's vote marks the 28th judicial confirmation this year and i'm pleased that we're moving forward with filling another vacancy. when i became ranking member of the judiciary committee earlier this year, the court had 103 vacancies. i've worked with the chairman and other members of the committee to reduce vacancies by confirming consensus nominees. we have brought the vacancies down now to 89. based upon media stories and other exaggerated statements that i hear from time to time, you would think that the republicans are blocking every judicial nominee.
the records show something quite and very different. in total, 60% of the president's judicial nominees have been confirmed. 33% of the nominees have been confirmed during this congress. we continue to achieve great progress in committee. 73% of the judicial nominees submitted this congress have been afforded hearings. only 57% of president bush's nominees had hearings for the comparable time period during his presidency. we've reported 58% of the judicial nominees compared to only 54% of president bush's nominees. in total, the committee has taken positive action on 62 of the 86 nominees submitted to the congress or 72% of those nominees submitted. i could go on with other
statistics which demonstrate our cooperation and positive action but i think i've made my point. we're moving forward on a consensus nominee -- on the consensus nominees. complaints to the contrary are not supported by the facts. i'd like to say a few words about the nominee that we're considering today, a nominee that i will vote for. mr. oetken grew up in my state of iowa and attended the university of iowa, where he received his bachelor of arts degree with distinction in 1988. following graduation from yale law school in 1991, the nominee spent three years clerking. he first clerked for seventh circuit, then the d.c. circuit, and finally for justice harry a. blackmun of the supreme court of the united states. after his clerkships, mr. oetken entered private practice. in 1997, he became an attorney advisor with the department of justice, office of legal couns counsel. in 1999, the nominee joined the
white house counsel's office as associate counsel to then-president clinton. in 2001, he moved to new york, returned to private practice. in 2004, the nominee joined the legal department of cablevision systems corporation. currently he is the senior vice president and associate general counsel at cablevision. the a.b.a. standing committee on the federal judiciary has given mr. oetken a unanimous qualified rating. i support this nomination and congratulate him on his professional accomplishments. i yield the floor. and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i ask consent that the call. quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, what is the parliamentary situation? the presiding officer: the senate is considering the nomination of paul oetken of new york. mr. leahy: thank you. mr. president, let me speak for a moment on that. with today's vote on the nomination of paul oetken to fill a judicial vacancy of the southern district of new york,
the senate is also going to mark a new and important milestone. mr. oetken of course is a superbly qualified nominee. he's also the first openly gay man to be nominated to be a federal district judge, and i fully expect him to be confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the federal bench, and i am proud of, physical, the president, for -- of, first, the president for taking this critical step to break down another barrier and increase the diversity in the federal judiciary but also on paul oetken to step forward to serve. he was reported with the support of every member of the judiciary committee, democratic and republican, and i commend my -- i commend my fellow republicans and democrats for that vote. i think he's going to be confirmed by what i believe will be an overwhelming vote in the
senate. the nation will take a new and welcome step that the federal judiciary reflects all americans. i'd ask my whole statement in support plaintiff oetken's nomination be placed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i want to speak on another matter, but first i'd suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator vermont. mr. leahy: i ask consent that the call. quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i understand this vote is scheduled for 5:30, is that correct? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. leahy: mr. president, i ask consent that, not to delay in any way the vote, still have the vote at 5:30, but that i be
allowed to continue during the time remaining to me as though in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, back on may 12, we're now in july, but back on may 12 when the president requested that congress pass legislation to enable robert mueller to continue serving as the director of the federal bureau of investigation for up to two additional years, in light of the leadership transition and other key national security agencies -- the secretary of defense was leaving, there was a change in the directorship of the c.i.a. and so forth -- and of course unique circumstances in which we find ourselves as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches in less than two months. in response to the president's request, a bipartisan group of senators drafted, introduced
s. 1103, a bill that would create a one-time exception to the statute, which as the distinguished presiding officer knows, limited the term of the distinguished f.b.i. director to ten years but this would allow the term of the incumbent f.b.i. director to continue for two additional years, given the continuing threats to our nation and the need to provide continuity and stability on the president's national security team. it is important that this critical legislation be enacted without delay. i mention this, mr. president, because the time for responsible congressional action has all but elambsed. we're really -- elapsed. we're really in the almost final hour. on may 26, the bipartisan legislation to provide the one-time statutory exception drafted by senator grassley was
introduced, it was cosponsored by me, so both senator grassley and i are sponsors, as well as the chair and vice chair of the senate select committee on intelligence, senators feinstein and chambliss. and in the judiciary committee, we moved quickly to consider this legislation reported to the full senate. we've been seeking an agreement to consider the bill for more than a month. every democrat -- every democratic senator has agreed to move forward, but there have been objections on the republican side of the aisle on this critical piece of legislation. now, i would note that the bill enjoys the strong support of law enforcement groups, including the national association of police organizations, the national fraternal order of police, the international association of chiefs of police,
the police executive research forum, major county shavers' association, the national native american law enforcement association, and the f.b.i. national academy asoarkts. they've all -- they've all supported -- and that's why every senate democrat has been prepared to take up and pass this extension bill for weeks. there's no good reason for delay. first it was reportedly senator coburn was holding up consideration of the bill. but then senator demint, and now apparently an objection by senator paul of kentucky. i find it hard to understand why we would hold up a piece of legislation like this. and frankly, i would state -- and i'd be happy to hear from the other side -- but i would state that the delay is inexplicable and inexcusable. i've even been willing to
proceed along the lines of an alternative approach that was requested by senator coburn. it is an approach that i think is based on a constitutional problem that does not exist. but because of the threats facing the united states,'s ai was willing to go along with that. after all, it is set forth in the committee report and extension bill, and in a memorandum by the office of legal counsel, the bill reported bay bipartisan majority of the senate judiciary committee in the senate is constitutional sound. and it is a proper response by congress to the president's request. but notwithstanding the fact that all our legal authority, as i said, was necessary to add to it, i was prepared to proceed using senator coburn's language instead of senator grassley's and mine so long as one further
problem is removed. the further problem of course was that senator coburn's approach, ace pointed out at our hearing -- at our markup, it would necessitate the renomination of director mueller and then his reconsideration and reconfirmation by the senate, after enactment by both the senate and the house, this alternative bill, and signature by the president -- oh, and incidentally, all of that before august 3. on june 29, i warned this was an additional, unnecessary, and possibly dangerous complication. i didn't want americans to approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11 without an f.b.i. director in office. i pointed this out at the parkup of our senate judiciary committee. i was assured by the senator
from oklahoma that he would get unanimous consent to do all of the short-time agreements to get the bill passed, get his amendment passed, get it through the senate, get it through the house and back and get the nomination with, i think he suggested to our time agreement. if we did all that, it wouldn't be the best of solutions, but it would be better than what we have now. now we have the distractions to director mueller that have been created by these extended proceedings. they have been damaging enough. then it requires renomination and then allow it to be held hostage or used as leverage, as so many of president obama's nominations have been, it seems to me a risk that's better avoided. i did not want the extension of director mueller's service leading the f.b.i. to follow the same objections and obstructed senate action on other important
presidential nominations and appointments. but unfortunately as i warned at our markup, that's precisely that's what happened in this case. i have spoken about the unnecessary and unexcusable delay of nominees, even those supported by the republican senators of their states that have faced long delays before senate republicans would allow a vote. we see so many of president obama's executive nominations subjected to the same unfair treatment. just recently we finally broke through a month of obstruction of the deputy attorney general and assistant attorney general for national security, key national security-related nominations. i warned on june 29 that we have no guarantee that the president f nomination of the f.b.i. director will be treated any differently. i wish i had been wrong. but, unfortunately, the same kind of delays and obstruction for the sake of delays and
obstruction has occurred, and while this bill was reported one month ago, action has been stymied by republican objections ever since. as i've said, every democrat is prepared to send it up. take it up, send it to the house of representatives, get it acted on before august 3. that's what we should be doing, fulfill the president's request that congress create a onetime exception to the onetime statutory term of f.b.i. director. everyone i heard from in the senate said a good person to lead that. and a person to lead now is not a time, two months before the anniversary of 9/11, is to have somebody new on the job. so i hope we'll take it up soon. i wish we'd done it at the time i urged senators do. i wish senators who had said let's delay because we can easily get a unanimous consent agreement, i wish they had been right.
i wish i had been wrong when i said i didn't see that happening. i do applaud the democrats, the democratic side of the aisle for saying that there would be no objections on our side to move forward to this legislation and to, so we can extend for two years the term of robert mueller. incidentally, i congratulate director mueller and his wife for being willing to put on hold their plans for retirement for those two years for the good of the country. but that's a situation we are, i hope cooler heads will prevail. i don't like this tampering with the security of this country. mr. president, i suggest we go back into executive session, and i'd ask have the yeas and nays been ordered on the nomination. the presiding officer: they have not.
the presiding officer: on this vote, the yeas are 80, the nays are 13. are there any senators that wish to vote or change their vote? if not, the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider shall be considered made and laid on the table, the president shall be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate will resume legislative session. mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent to speak for up to ten minutes as if in morning business.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. i am here today to celebrate a friend and a statesman, a former member of the united states senate, marine aviator, pioneering astronaut, a beloved -- the presiding officer: the senate be in order, please. the senate be in order. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. i'm here to celebrate a former member of this body, marine aviator, beloved family man and american hero. today is the 90's birthday for john herschel glenn. i was ten years old when he observed the wonder of the universe in just over five hours while orbiting the earth. i was 16 years old when he presented to me and another couple dozen eagle scouts in mansfield, ohio, with our eagle award teaching us again about community service and community pride. when i was 54 and one of the
most memorable moments of my life, with john's wife and my wife connie in the gallery john glenn -- the presiding officer: the senate will come to order, please. mr. brown: john glenn h escorted me in to be sworn in as a united states senator from owe 0. now as a grandfather,es husband, and father, i continue to be inspired. born in cambridge, ohio, 150 miles east of dayton where the wright brothers first figured out how to fly, he attended public school and became an eagle scout in new concord. it was where -- it was there he would meet his childhood sweetheart and future wife. they literally shared a playpen. she was time of my life from the time of my first memory, he said. since they married, they earned
the add you don'tlation of people around the world for their accomplishments and devoted love. by 1941, he'd studied mathematics and earned his pilots' license. before the attack on pearl harbor, he dropped out of college to enlist in the navy and after two years of advanced aviator training was reassigned to the u.s. marine complete. john glenn flew 59 combat missions with the marines in world war i i and 90 combat missions with the marines and air force in korea. on some of these flying missions he had baseball great ted williams on his wing. john glenn was awarded numerous commendations and citations. 1959 he was slepghted by the national aeronautics and space administration as one of the original mercury seven astronauts. in 1962 president kennedy made john glenn the first american to orbit the earth. 35 years later john glenn was asked by another president, bill
clinton, to fly into space for a second time as a mission specialist on the space shuttle "discovery." at the age of 77 he became the oldest human being to fly in space conduct a series of scientific investigations into the physiology of the american aging process and exploring the effects of space flight in aging. by the 1960's, glenn's service to his country had expanded into a career in politics. he was with robert f. kennedy, that fateful day in june in california and he served as a pallbearer a few days later in arlington national cemetery. in 1974 he was elected to the united states senate from my state, serving four consecutive terms until his retirement 24 years later in 1999. served as chairman of the committee on government affairs, he was the chief author of the nuclear nonproliferation act of 1978. throughout the years he continually championed the advancement of science and technology, especially nasa, so
much that 12 years ago the nasa lewis research center in cleveland was officially renamed the john h. glenn research center. after his retirement from the senate, he and annie found funded the john glenn institute -- the john glenn institute for public affairs at the ohio state university saying if there's one thing i've learned on my years on this planet, it's tha the happiest and most fulfilled people i have a knowned are those who devote themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self-trvment whether he is flying a jet floatingsphairks walking campaign trails or in this chamber, he remained grounded in his new concord routes and always by the steady hand and constant love of annie. when i decided to run for the united states senate, the first people we called were annie and john glenn. annie's advice to connie then and now is to be yourself and
not allow others to tell you who you should be. connie, who is a noted writer in ohio, writes for the ""plain dealer"." connie in this to say about annie. "annie glenn refuses to draw attention to herself which is one of the reasons some of us can't get enough of her. she is that rare person who is generally interested in whom ever is standing right in front of her. you'll never catch her looking over your shoal derks searching for someone more interesting, more important. if you are looking into the eyes of annie glenn, you have just become the most fascinating person in the world. this is not to suggest annie is a wallflower. she has won many honors, changed many lives through her voafntle she is as engagees as she is generous, full of opinions living life at full throttle even when she was scared to death. that is a crucial" this is my wife writing. "that is crucial truth about annie. americans rightly oooh and ahhh
over john glenn but let us never forget the wife who gave her blessing and privately played until his safe return. john and i traveled across the campaign trail hearing each other so often that we could hear hesp ores speeches and roll our eyes at the jokes we'd tell. they were dedicated -- they are dedicated public servants and trail blairsz whose sense of humor and smiles brighten any room and whose presence we better understand the meaning of love and compassion. it is a love and marriage that everyone from lifelong new concord friends to u.s. friends presidents to scheetion in this chamber have described with affection. barack obama said during a campaign stop in columbus, "the thing i admire most about john glenn is his relationship to aneevment they have been married for 65 years" -- that was then,
now it is 68. "and you should see him the way he treats her. he's in love. 65 years later he is still in love and no wonder because she is a remarkable man." president obama said that. we reveal and remember the greatness of our country, our capacity to loofnedz to wonder and see something greater than ourselves. my wife connie and i are fortunate to call annie and john friends and they remain trusted mentors and role models for us and so many. when his country was attacked, he enlisted. when his president asked, he served. when his country needed it, it he instilled a confidence in the american spirit of scientific discovery t when his state needed his leadership, he represented the people of our state with honor. happy 90's birthday, john glenn. our life tells our nation's story, our triesms and turbulence and tells how our nation's spirited discovery can be found in the humility of a hometown hero from new concord, ohio.
mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that following my prarks, that senator durbin be recognized to give a brief presentation. and following that, senator grassley will have one half-hour. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i -- i didn't know it was john glenn's birthday. i'm so happy that i was on the floor when my dear friend from ohio talked about john glenn. john glenn, when i came to the senate, one of the first tuesday caucuses that we had, i watched john glenn stand and say, i'm going to go out on the aircraft carrier u.s.s. kennedy, and on saturday. would anyone like to go? i'm a new senator and that's john glenn, and i thought everyone would raise their hand and march off with him. i was the only one that raised my hand. so i did. i went out with him. it was a wonderful experience. we -- the seas with were a
little bit rough and we landed in the airplane, snagged that airplane going in. we were there for many hours and the seas got roughered and rougher understand and the pilots coming in -- this is the first time they had land hon an aircraft carrier. and we went on the deck of the ship and the planes would come in -- ahhh, man. the crews -- they didn't think the plane could land or was going too far off one end, dirty, dirty -- that meant get the plane up off the carrier and go up and try again. did that for quite sometime. then john glenn said, i think i should go up in one of those airplanes. john glenn went up and flew an aimplet i don't know how old john glenn was. a young man, he was 65, 25 years ago. so here he comes in. landing on the aircraft carrier. john glenn. totally changing the subject, a
group from nevada won the double-dutch skip roping championship. they came to my office to show me how good they were. it takes a little space to do t so in one of the outside hallways there in the hart building, they do this double-dutch jing and they asked me to try it. well, i was so embarrassed. i couldn't get one step. i didn't realize but john glenn had been watching from his office at these kids jumping this rope. he comes out, the famous john glenn comes out and says, would you mind if i tried it? now, i don't know -- i assume he was 70 years old at the time. he was perfect. didn't miss a step. i mean, that is hard to do. jumping rope is hard, but when you have two people skipping -- flipping two different ropes, it is hard. he did that. what a physical specimen.
he was 70 years old. think what he must have been when he was 20 years old. a man who was in world war i i, he was an ace, bein meaning he t down so many airplanes. did the same ning in korea. here's a man who was the first orbit in space. you can go see his spacecraft down here in the air and space museum. he says, go look at it. he said, what they said about that is, i wore it. it was so small. he went up there the stories he told, i just so loved john glenn. he said, they didn't know what it would be like to go up in spaissmentspace. no one had ever done this. and he told me all the precautions they did the first time he went up in space. they didn't know if air sickness would come and they couldn't handle the flight. and he had a -- he was trained
-- he had a hypodermic syringe that would go right through his space clothe, shoot him in the thigh so he wouldn't get too sick up there. he learned i don't know how many different languages because they didn't know for sure if the spacecraft would go down, who would be there. but they had a general idea where it would go. so he learned to say "i come in friendship" in many different languages. then oarveg went umin space -- and then of course he went up in space again. he was such a wonderful human being. i had such admiration for him. to think i was able to serve in the senate with john glenn says it all. and sherrod brown, senator brown, is absolutely right. this relationship this love affair that john glenn and annie had and have -- their 68 years
of marriage is remarkable. as the books have shown and the movie shows, annie had a very bad speech impediment. she spham staplered and stuttered. she stuttered until she was in her 50's. she staplered many very, very much. john glenn when they were courting each other would have to do her phone calls for her because she couldn't talk on the phone very well. what a wonderful human being, john glenn. i don't want to -- i know that there are other people that want to speak here, but i have to say a couple things. he led a congressional delegation when i was a relatively new senator and went behind the iron curtain. we went to -- i can remember going from austria into czechoslovakia, and the communists had stopped the train we were on, had dogs and they had these soldiers looking under the train and they went and looked at who we were.
but when things calmed down, one of the soldiers asked john glenn for his autograph. he's a world-famous man. and as a man of such humility, i want him to know and everyone in the sowfnedz my voice -- he is one of the finest human beings i have ever met, and he is a historical figure now and for all time in the united states. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i know senator grassley is waiting. i thank him for his indulgence. when senator brown came to speak of john glenn, i couldn't help but stay. for those who are listening, the good news is we are celebrating his birthday. he is alive and well with annie. we are sure happy that is the case. when i was just getting started in politics -- 1982 -- i was running for congress in springfield, illinois, and john
glenn, senator john glenn called and said, i'm going to come and campaign for you. i cannot tell you how excited i was to meet him face to face in my hometown and the people who gathered -- he is truly an american hero, for all of his service to the united states. a naval pilot, marine pilot in world war i i, in the korean war, our first man into space, an astronaut who repreesed his performance at the age of 77, went back into space. and it tells you what kind of person he is, his courage and his physical strength that he could do that. i had the good fortune of being here on the floor of the united states senate for my orientation in 1996, and your predecessor, senator robert byrd, would sit in that chair and tell all the new members and their spouses the history of the senate. and i sat right over here and loretta sat next to me, and at
one point senator byrd said open that desk drawer in front of you and you're going to see a great senate tradition. remember how the teachers told you don't write on the desks? the senators never got the message. inside virtually every desk on this floor is the name of the senator who sat in the desk scratched in the wood by the senator at the bottom of the drawer. and so he said pull open the drawer on the desk and see whose name is in there. i pulled it open and sure enough it was john glenn right there. it was his desk that i was sitting at. i also looked next to it was paul douglas, the man that i worked for as a college intern and the man who inspired me to get started in public life. and so i have that desk today. i'm honored to have it and to add my name to the desk drawer of these two great men. i didn't realize at the time that not only would i be able to have this desk, but actually serve with john glenn in the united states senate. i think there have been fewer than 1,300 men and women who
have had this honor to be in the united states senate, and i will just tell you that many of them have vanished in history and will never be remembered for anything significant. that won't be true of john glenn. what he has done in his life, in his public life is to set an example for every single one of us who aspires to this job. here is a man who literally risked his life for his country over and over and over again. he is a humble person, a quiet person, a friendly person dedicated to his wife annie. the two of them have a relationship, as president obama said and was quoted earlier, that is just extraordinary in american life. the fact that i got to know him and got to serve with muslim and -- and got to serve with him and that he launched me on this political journey that i'm on today is something that i'll never ever forget. i want to wish john glenn, our former colleague, a happy birthday, and thanks again and again for all the service that he's given to this great nation. he has really made america a better place, and i'm honored to
have been one of his colleagues. and i yield the floor. mr. grassley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: the supreme court earlier this month issued a very important decision, a decision that bothers me, a decision that i think shows that the centers in this decision are judicial activists. it is important not only on the merits of this case but because it shows how this country is only one vote away from an unprecedented judicial act v.i. the obama administration -- activism. the obama administration is encouraging this judicial activism. the obama administration is taking legal positions that threaten the role of congress as a coequal branch of our government. those positions challenge the separation of powers that is designed to protect the freedom of americans and even the right of people to govern themselves,
which is the basis of representative government and the purpose of the congress. the united states happens to be a party to the vienna convention on consolate relations. this treaty gives rights to the citizens of countries who are parties to that treaty to have access to their country's consular officials if they are arrested abroad. there are some foreign nations in this country who are sentenced to death without those rights being respected. all of these death sentences appear to be valid under the american constitution. now the story is complicated, but in 2008 the supreme court ruled that failure to comply with the treaty was not an
obstacle to the execution of a foreign national who had been sentenced to death. this was the case even if the president ordered a state to allow the criminal to challenge his sentence in light of the treaty and even if the criminal obtained a judgment from the international court of justice that his conviction violated international law. the court said that congress could pass legislation to make the treaty apply to people on death row who had not received cons consular access. we in the congress have never passed such a law. now to the supreme court case that concerns me in light of this background on the consular relations treaty. in 1994, humberto lao garcia, a
mexican national, kidnapped a 16-year-old girl, raped her and bludgeoned her to death. he did not ask for access to the mexican consul, and he did not receive access. he did not challenge his failure to receive consular access during his trial. only after he brought state habeas corpus litigation did he raise this claim. and then even then he did not raise consular notification tkas an issue in his first habeas corpus decision. he did obtain a ruling that his conviction and sentence were obtained in violation of international law. the international court of justice ordered that he was entitled under international law to receive another review of his
conviction and sentence regardless of whether habeas law allowed him to raise such an issue. but that ruling is obviously not binding on american courts, as no country in the world, even including the country of mexico, enforces international court of justice rulings as part of its domestic law. as his execution date approached , mr. lao sought a stay in the supreme court. since mr. leal received a fair trial under american law and there was no question concerning his guilt, his request should have been rejected and rejected unanimously. but that is not what happened. he was executed, but the supreme court's ruling was shockingly
close by default. the department of justice, through the solicitor general verrilli asked the supreme court to grant the stay. his brief was truly astonishing. it did not argue there was any doubt about mr. leal was guilty. it did not say mr. leal was harmed in any way by the vienna convention. it cited no case that provided an example where a stay had issue -- had been issued in similar circumstances. it raised no arguments for the stay that were based on american law because american law did not support a stay. instead the department of justice relied on international law and made policy arguments.
it argued that mr. leal's execution would create negative effects on america's international relations. it argued that his execution would violate our international legal obligations. and it argued that the more -- that the mere introduction of legislation -- now understand this. just introducing a bill and at the same time having the support of the obama administration should allow the court to issue a stay to preserve its jurisdiction if time were given to allow the bill to be enacted. this is a position that worries me and threatens the role of congress as a coequal branch of government. everyone knows bills are not laws. bills are what we introduce.
if we pass bills, they become law. the founding fathers made it very difficult to enact laws. there are two houses of congress, and each has to pass the same version of the bill, and the president has to sign that bill or a supermajority of both houses must override a veto. this was done to protect the rights of the american people. only if a bill passes through a specified process can a bill become a law. a court following the rule of law can only enforce what actually becomes a law. there may be times when an agency might pay attention to a bill that is introduced, but that's an agency. in the case of courts, a court should only apply what has actually become law. in other words, a bill passing
both houses of congress, signed by the president. not just pay attention to a bill that's been introduced. the solicitor general brief relied on a bill, not a law. the name of the bill is the consular notification compliance act. that bill would retroactively allow prisoners on death row whose vienna convention rights were violated yet another bite at the apple. if the bill passed, they would be able to delay their death sentences, sentences that are lawful under american law, with another round of judicial review for compliance with what? international law. although the bill is strongly supported by the obama administration, it has not passed sofplt it is not law --
it pass not passed. so it is not law. it is just a bill. now it's going to have a hearing soon, but it's not scheduled to be placed on the committee agenda for markup. it is clear that there is no chance that this congress would pass a law that retroactively allowed foreign nationals who face lawful death penalties another round of judicial review based upon the vienna convention. congress simply will not pass a bill that gives federal judges another opportunity to display their dislikes of the death penalty by delaying cases for no good reason. only congress can legislate, but the obama administration argued in the court that the supreme court should grant a stay even though congress has not legislated, simply because the
executive branch strongly supported the bill which theoretically, but only theoretically, could pass at some future time. you know what disturbs me? four justices agreed with this outlandish position. there is absolutely no precedent for the position. these dissenters accepted an obama position that was made out of whole cloth. when courts rule based on law, we have the rule of law. when they rule based upon policy preferences, we have judicial activism. not the rule of law. the obama administration asked for a stay based upon policy preferences, based on international law, and based on that administration's view that a bill that it supports takes
overwhelming precedence over a considered decision of congress not to pass that legislation. four justices, just one short of a majority, were willing to disregard american law in favor of international law. also in favor of policy implications and also based just upon a bill being introduced in congress. this is not only inconsistent with the rule of law, it is a threat to american democracy. how extreme. the american people, through their elected representatives, have enacted the death penalty and established limits on habeas corpus petition that is impede executions. the people's representatives, those of us here in the
congress, also declined to enact a bill to implement the vienna convention, not withstanding that decision of the people's representatives, this administration and four justices would have used an unpassed bill to delay a death sentence. how extreme. they would have had the courts not allow the preferences of the american people as expressed through their elected representatives but instead their own policy preferences. how extreme. but under our system of government, the results of the democratic process are entitled to prevail unless the constitution and only the constitution clearly provides otherwise. the position of the obama administration and the four
dissenting justices also is harmful to american democracy in yet another way. if the american people dislike what congress is doing, you know, it's very simple. in the next election, elect new representatives and senators. they can ask that judicial -- federal judicial nominees be stopped or that laws be passed that overturn judicial decisions made under federal law, but what are the american people to do if judges make decisions based on the views of foreign governments and international tribunals that are contrary to our very own law? what if judicial rulings are designed to enforce decisions of the international court of justice, rulings that are not binding as federal law.
americans cannot influence the views of foreign governments or americans can't influence the rulings of international tribunals. had the obama administration and the four dissenting justices prevailed, the american people would have lost a part of the right to govern themselves. that right would have been replaced with obedience without recourse to foreign powers over whom our people exercise no voice. that is not the system that the founding fathers bequeathed us. the question whether courts should apply american law or foreign law is of great concern to me and other members of the judiciary committee and maybe to a lot of senators who aren't on that committee, but those of us on the committee have fought
about this specific question long before this recent case that has come, i guess, within the last three weeks. and i have asked judicial and administration nominees about these very issues at their confirmation hearings. for instance, just a few months ago, i posed a question to the nominee for solicitor general, mr. verilli, about an a-- amicus brief that he had filed on behalf of foreign nationals that he had sentenced to death. in that brief, mr. verilli argued not that the prisoner's constitutional rights had been violated, but that -- quote -- "it is in the interest of the united states and the world community that the legal standards of the united states should reflect and be informed by international human rights." end of quote. i asked mr. verilli if he were
confirmed if there were any circumstances in which he would argue before the supreme court in a death penalty case that the courts be -- quote -- "informed by international rights." end of quote. he responded, and i quote -- "i will adhere to the view that foreign law, including international human rights lou, has no authoritative force in interpreting the constitutional and laws of the united states except in those rare instances where federal statutes incorporate or make international and/or foreign court decisions binding legal authority." end of quote. responding to my questions on differences between human rights and international constitutional rights, mr. verilli states -- quote -- "international human rights are set forth in international treaties, conventions and customary international law. they are not binding or
enforceable in the united states unless congress has made them so." end of quote. the lahol case does not involve a federal statute of the type mr. verrilli cited. i believe that mr. verrilli's brief as solicitor general is very inconsistent with what he related during his confirmation. the brief relied on international human rights and its only reference to american law was this bill that i have referred to, not a law. which bill under our constitutional system as different from a law as night is from day. i would also note that mr. verrilli stated during his confirmation -- quote -- "if the attorney general or the president directed that i take a
position, one that i believe to be an indefensible view of the law, i would not lend my name or that of the office of solicitor general to carrying out the order, and i would certainly resign rather than carrying out the order." end of quote. mr. verrilli obviously does not believe that reliance solely on international law in a bill is an indefensible view of the law. i disagree with you on that point. similarly, during her confirmation hearing, justice sotomayor was asked about the application of foreign or american law, and she was one of these dissenters. she stated -- quote -- "i do not believe that foreign law should be used to determine the results under constitutional law or american law except where american law directs." end of quote. in the leal case, foreign law should not have been used to resolve the case because american law did not direct that foreign law apply, and when
justice kagan appeared for her confirmation hearing, she stated that in deciding cases -- quote -- "you're looking at law all the way down. not your political preferences, not your personal preferences." end of quote. however, the law in the leal case is clear. executive branch policy arguments and unenacted bills are not law. i'm not saying that the solicitor general or these justices who dissented lied at their confirmation hearings or made a mockery of the confirmation process, but judiciary committee members foresaw cases like leal and asked the nominees to address the role of foreign law in constitutional cases. i believe, although they do not, that what these individuals
wrote in the leal case is inconsistent with what they said at that time of their confirmation. finally, one of these issues could arise again in a different legal context. like the death penalty cases, there is ongoing litigation challenging the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act, and like the death penalty cases, the defense of marriage act is subject of a bill. the particular bill called the respect for marriage act notwithstanding its orwellian name would repeal the defense of marriage act. the department of justice has already decided only not to defend the defense of marriage act but now argues that the defense of marriage act is unconstitutional. the department in light of the leal brief may be considering
making the implausible argument that the court should strike down the defense of marriage act simply because a bill has been introduced to repeal it, the same argument used in the leal case before the supreme court. you might well argue that the introduction of a bill that is strongly supported by the administration is enough to lead courts to believe that congress has already repealed the law anyway. so why not have the court simply declare the law unconstitutional? the department should not make such an argument, and i can tell the courts that like the bill to make the vienna convention apply retroactively to convicted criminal defendants who face the death penalty, this congress will not, and i repeat, will not pass the respect for marriage act and courts should not consider its introduction in
resolving douma's constitutionality. mr. president, obviously, i'm disappointed that the obama administration has advanced policy arguments rather than legal arguments in the supreme court and how surplus it is to try to convince the supreme court that just because a bill's introduced, they ought to make a decision based upon that bill being introduced. in the absence of arguments based on american law, it should not have asked the court to rule based on policy. rather, it should have either argued based on american law, even if american law did not conform to its view of desirable policy, or should have declined to participate in the case. and i'm also disappointed that four supreme court justices voted to advance their views of policy rather than law, which is the essence of judicial activism.
we were -- or you could say we are only one vote away from a supreme court majority that would have applied policy preferences in favor of international law rather than american constitutional law. we were only one vote away from the supreme court majority that would have usurped the separation of powers by considering a bill to be the same as a law that congress passed. and we were only one vote away from a supreme court majority that would have applied the ruling of international law -- that would have applied the ruling of an international tribunal over which americans have no say rather than in a body like this congress of the united states that is representative of and answers only to the american people. i yield the floor, suggest the
the speaker p temre: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. blumenauer of oregon for today and for the balance of the week, ms. mccollum of minnesota for today, mr. ellison of minnesota for today, mr. wu of oregon for today, mrs. wilson of florida for tay, mr. bishop of new york for today. the speaker pro tempore: werks, the request ares -- the requests are -- without objection, the requests are granted. the chair will entertain one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr.
speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the house will be in order. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. and i rise tonight to mark the anniversary of the attack on the amia jewish community center in bune he is arizona, argentina, on july 18, 1994, the irana regime through the coordinated efforts of its embassy and extremist proxy, hezbollah, committed one of the deadliest attacks of anti-semitism in the western hemisphere by killing 85 men, women and children and injuring over 300 innocent bystanders. 17 years later, mr. speaker, the regime has yet to answer for its role in the attack. its statement this weekend was nothing more than a desperate p.r. attempt to manipulate the
headlines in advance of tay's sad anniversary. and so as we mark the 17th anniversary of this horrible attack and honor the victims and the survivors of that day, we must recommit ourselves to holding the iranian regime accountable for the attack and for the threat that it continues to pose to u.s. regional and global security. i thank the chair and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentledy from texas rise? ms. jackson lee: to address the house for one minute. madam speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is correct. the house is not in order. please take youconversations off the floor. ms. jackson lee: thank you very much, mr. speaker. flying in today our plane was delayed, didn't have the opportunity to advance my
support for h.r. 33, the church plan investment clarification act of 2011. and i want to acknowledge the sponsorship of congresswoman ggert and indicate tat unde current law thousands of church pension plans are denied participation in collective trusts, rendering them unable to pull their assets or reap the benefits of buying power. many churches experience difficulties and encourage expense when is diversifying pension plans. our chunches, our houses of worship provide invaluable service and many of those in my own community, the new light christian church, st. john missionary baptist church and many others work throughout our community, we are blessed to have lakewood church in our community as well that works very hard, a church leadership that i've known for many, many years. so this bill has been supported by the church alliance, the ymca retirement fund, the church
pension group and others and i thank my friend from illinois as i said, church does missionary work, their workers need to have the ability to have their pension and i close by saying there are those suffering in kenya, they are dying, so the malians who left because of the devastation of the draw the and i know our faith community wants us to do something about it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas rise? without objection. >> thank you, madam speaker. today i rise to remember a great leader from the sta of arkansas, mr. stanley reid. stanley reid was prematurely taken away from us last friday but his legacy will live on. he was from mary anna and lee county but his influence was throughout the entire state of arkansas. he served as the president of the arkansas farm bureau and worked for the agriculture community, leading several initiatives to advance agriculture. for 10 years he served on the board of trustees for the university of arkansas. he placed a great emphasis on the importance of education and
it can be seen through his work at the university. sanity zsh stanley was also an advocate for arkansas businesses. he served on the board of arkansas world trade center where he shared his vision for arkansas businesses to compete in the global economy. mr. crawford: stanley leaves behind his wife, and his children and three grandchildren. arkansas lost a great leader, advocate and ambassador last week but stanley reid's legacy will live on through the impact of his work. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. garamendi: madam speaker, later this week this house will take up the second coming, if you will, of the house republican budget, a budget designed to destroy medicare, basically to terminate it, for anyone that's 55 years or younger. a plan designed to put social security on a track to privatization, a plan designed to take nearly $700 billion out
of the medicaid program, basically to destroy those things that have held the fabric of america together. have no illusions about what this is all about. it's not just a constutional amendment, it's not just cut and cap. it is really about destroying medicare, medicaid, proams that are essential for seniors. if you want to make a cut in something, why don't you take 1/3 of $1 trillion out of the war in afghanistan, which is what we're going to spend over the next four years? now there is a good cut that we ought to make. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. roe: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to recognize a true american hero, private first class joe immediate. private class meed was a member of mike company third battalion, 26th marines. he died in vietnam when his
battalion was fightin while carrng a wounded comrade to a wounded helicopter, he stepped on a land mine and was killed. he was on a -- he was only 19 at the time. in recognition of his valor he was awarded the silver star. dwayne crawford, his former commanding officer who recently founded a scholarship in his officer, had these words to say about joe's actions. with total disregard for his own life, he continually exposed himself to danger by administering first aid to his wounded comrades. offering them comforting words and helping them to medivac helicopters. his courageous actions saved many lives. even though he lived on a -- only 19 years, the legacy joe left behind is truly remarkable. private first class meed exemplified the best of ameri. for this reason i ask you to join me in commemorating the life of this extraordinary marine. semper fi, and this is an honor for the 58,479 of our comrades who died in vietnam.
thank you, madam speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speakerro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, madam speaker. i have three simple words for prsident obama and congressional democrats. mr. fleming: cut, cap and balance. last week when our campaigner in chief held his news conference he asked for a plan. well, mr. president, cut, cap and balance is our plan. it's a plan that cuts federal spending immediately, puts in place enforceable spending caps and demands a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. this plan cuts total spending by $111 billion in 2012 and around 5ds.8 trillion over the next 10 years -- $5.8 trillion over the next 10 years while not increing taxes one single penny. we have too much debt because we
spend too much, not because we haven't taxed you enough. mr. president, you asked for a plan and here it is. it's your turn to get serious and work with us to solve this problem. not against us. stop demagoguing this issue with cheap tactics, cheap scare tactics and politics because the american people are tired of it and deserve much better. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlem from georgia rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to let the american peoplknow that the city of ringold, georgia, is open for business. i know that we all remember the tornadoses that ravaged much of the country in april. over 180 of these destructive storms were confirmed in just one day and the ninth congressional district of georgia was not spared.
mr. graves: some of the worst storm zadge in north georgia occurred in the small town of ringold. er 100 businesses, 500 homes were damaged or destroyed on april 27. this was a devastating moment to the local community and the local economy which relies heavily on travelers passing tough on interstate 75. well, however, ringold is on the mend and ready to share some of that southern hospitality it's known so well for. nearly half of the damaged businesses have reopened, hopes -- homes are being rebuilt and the jobs are returning. while there is still much to be done, if you find yourself passing through jming on i- 5 -- georgia on i-75, take exit 348 for gas, a bite to eat or an overnight staand enjoy the shops and the sites and the historic downtown and know that you're playing a part in helping this great and resilient community rebuild. thank you, madam speaker.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise. >> to address the house for one minute. >> to address the house for one majority leader. mr. reid: i ask consent that the call. quarrel be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators allowed to speaker for up to ten minutes eachment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now that we move to s. con. res. 256789. the presiding officer: clorm the clerk will report. the clerk: welcoming the independence of the republic of south sudan and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, no intervening action or debate, and that there are statements relating to this matter, they be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. officer 123er without objection. mr. reid: i ask had a the senate adjourn until tomorrow morning, july 19, at 10:00 a.m. following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, and the time for the two leaders be heed
for their use later in the day. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: following any leader remarks, mr. president, the senate be in a period of morning business for up to two hours, senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes eve, with the time equally divide and controlled between the two leaders or her designees with the majority of the republicans alter naight three-minute blocks with the republicans controlling the first block. following morning business, the senate resume consideration of h.r. 2055, the military construction veterans affairs and related agencies appropriations bill. further, mr. president, the senate recess from 12:30 to 2:15 to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, we're
continuing to work on senator johnson's military construction appropriations bill. the senate will be notified when votes are scheduled on that matter. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that we adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. adjourn:
>> which is due people believe he has made the economy better? do people believe that america has a more stable economic foundation as a result of his policies or are we in a weaker position in a think the american people concluded as i have the president failed us and for that reason this would be a campaign about president obama and his record. >> speaking of the campaign 2008 around this time the front runner this time my experiences these early polls don't tellyou a lot about what's going to happen on election day. you have to make sure you spend
your time getting to know people, understand their concerns. i will be spending a lot of times. meetings are just beginning. i have several already and i will have a lot more before this is over. hopefully across the state and getting the chance to hear what people in new hampshire care about and sharing my message with folks here. >> do you feel like you are more ready to be present this time around? other than in 2008? >> i'm probably a better candidate because you learn from your mistakes and i made a few last time around and watched some people do pretty good. john mccain ran a good campaign and the parameters of american policy in afghanistan and iraq did extraordinarily well and this time i think the issue revolves around the economy. and that's frankly that is in my house. i spent 25 years in the business world and i understand how the economy works and why jobs are able to grow and why they leave and i think that experience is what america is looking for today. >> the argument of the day, the debate going on in washington in
your opinion is there any way not to raise the debt ceiling at this point not looking backwards and second, should the president have unilateral authority to raise that as needed in the debt ceiling? >> it's appropriate for the president to recognize the decision about the debt ceiling is up to him, which is he simply has to agree with the american people who voted in a whole new group of congress people last fall and a number of new senators as well and the said we are not going to raise taxes, we're going to reduce the deficit and spending. the was the message that can out of the november elections and the president has to do just that. we are not going to raise taxes, we are going to reduce government spending if the president will take that course and commit to a balanced budget, why you will see republicans jump on board and there will be no issue about a debt ceiling problem. right now the president wants to raise taxes. mr. president a message was heard loud and clear by virtually everybody in this
country. we don't want higher taxes we want less spending and he will take that action this whole debt issue will disappear. stomach this point democrats and republicans agree on this point in it no water can be debt reduction this is about raising the debt ceiling. in your opinion, mitch mcconnell suggested that the president should be given the authority to raise the debt ceiling. do you agree? >> i want to make sure that we see the cost reduction, the spending reduction the american people expect. i don't want to see a higher debt ceiling with more borrowing unless we are able to show that we have dramatically reduced federal spending, that we cap federal spending and have a balanced budget amendment in place so we don't keep spending more than we take. that's what the republicans said and it is within his power to agree to that and not have a question about whether we are going to have a debt ceiling breached or not breached. >> you think there is time on this? >> this is in the president's hands. he has the capacity to make the decision that will conform with
what the voters and the american people so clearly have indicated they want to see done which is a government expending shrunken. >> i don't want to harp on this but this is what everybody's watching. the president said this week the chance comes august 3rd, social security checks will start bouncing but i would rather see a long-term deal put into effect which addresses the debt reduction and the debt ceiling itself because directly
welcome back to the conversation with candidates former massachusetts governor mitt romney. is time to bring in questions from our audience and we certainly do have plenty to choose from. i will jump in that right now let's get to our first guest, and the first question comes from stacy from arra and it centers on all of us basically, the middle-class. >> fuel and health care costs are climbing out of control. many of us hold service positions and work hard every day for little to no pay increase year after year, people like educators, police officers and firemen. the one. >> been great health care coverage which now seems to be coming to an and. how we you help those of us that are the hard-working middle-class? >> the american people are suffering and you have put your finger on some of the ways you are suffering. 20 million americans today out of work or vastly under
employed. at the same time indicated fuel prices going up, food prices are going up and wages are going up not just in government that in the private sector as well. basically you have an economy that is not working and you say how are you going to get the economy going? how we going to help keep the cost of living down and see wages go up and people go back to work? i have if you will seven habits of what i think highly successful economies are. one is tax rates for employees that are competitive with the world so we attract jobs here. two is to make sure that we have regulation and government that is streamlined and moderates. trade policies that work for us not just the other guy in right now there are other nations like china whose trade policies we somehow doubt you and i just don't understand that. number four is getting ourselves energy secure and energy independent. number five is applying the rule of law and the number six is having rate institutions that build human capital and finally a government that doesn't spend more money than it takes them.
you do the seven things in our economy will start growing again, putting people back to work. wages will rise as employment comes up. that is the answer for their people. >> as the president do you tap the nation's oil preserves? speech you don't use the gas reserves other than at a time of a national emergency. the right answer for energy is for us to start developing our own energy. we have natural natural gas and abundance. we ought to be using that natural gas not only for power generation but also for transportation. we should be drilling for oil offshore in anwr. we should be using our coal resources cling coal is a great source of energy for us. nuclear power will come back in a safeway and of course there were nobles but we can't rely only on renewables because they can't get the job done. we have to develop all of our energy resources and if we do that we will be far less dependent upon the cartels and the way they web site at you prices. >> the next question comes from kelsey from bedford on the topic
of social security. >> social security has not worked for the past 75 years and is crucial for many seniors including both of my grandmothers. if left 57,000 new hampshire -- out of poverty and the poverty rate would increase by 35%. do you support changes to social security that would increase the poverty rate for seniors? >> what i want to make sure we do is preserve social security because what you hear time and time again is that the social security has been rated over the years, that the politicians have taken the money that has gone into social security and used it for their various spending programs. medicare also made a great difference to our seniors in this nation. i want to keep social security and medicare a live and well to protect those that are dependent upon those programs. some of my fellow republicans have proposed ideas to do that and they have indicated no change in the programs for people in their 50s, late
50s that is an 60s but for people in their 20s and 30s and 40s and probably early 50s we need to make sure what we are promising them we can actually carry out. we don't want to be if you will misleading people and having them rely upon promises that ultimately are not fulfilled. in my view i would like to find a way to make sure those programs are preserved and sustainable on aparna basis and i put forward some ideas in my book. no plug intended that i put a book out. no apology. laying out how it would make those programs permanently sustainable so that young people coming along could rely on them just like seniors do. thanks, great question. >> the question comes from diane. she is from leeds and has won on the question of health care. >> thank you governor romney. as president what steps would you take two improve the quality affordable health care for the self-insured and the uninsured?
>> this is an area you have interest in. are rus health care. >> i am a physician. >> it is an important question and you know next-door in massachusetts we wrestled with this question. we had about 7% of our appalacian that didn't have insurance and we had a number of folks as well to even though they could afford to buy insurance had learned that if they showed up at the hospital and said i don't have insurance and i don't have the money to pay they could get free care. we call them free riders and we said we have a real problem here. some folks that just don't worry about those problems. just take them down the field. i said no, no, we are leaders and we are responsible for solving problems. we put in place a an experiment in massachusetts. some parts are of the worked well and some didn't. there are some things that other states could learn from what we did. there are things that i would say do not do under any circumstances but the right idea of mine used to have states statecraft their own programs,
craft their own solutions to these issues and let states compare one another to see who is doing at best and i think by doing that end up letting individuals be able to make their own choices in health care. you have a setting where you keep the best of if you will the federal system we have where states can compare ideas without having what i think the president did. at the president did was to say i'm going to take one idea and impose it on the entire nation, take away the rights of states and individuals to make their own choices. i think that was a huge mistake so i want a free-market health care system which i think is the best way to bring costs down and i want to return to the states the authority and responsibility or expanding coverage to their own citizens. >> governor debt is the issue that is your achilles heel -- mackiel so what is the difference between a state government mandate universal coverage that you supported in massachusetts versus a federal government mandate in the
federal health care law? >> first of all the federal mandate is unconstitutional but that is a pretty significant difference. and secondly, quite simply this which is that the states have differences between them. what works in massachusetts is not necessarily going to work in mississippi and montana. we have differences and under a federal system we look for the freedom to adjust our programs to the needs of our respective citizens. when you have the federal government who says we have a one-size-fits-all program you ignore those differences and i will tell you i think you'll find in this country people say they do do not want obamacare. they recognize it will be massively expensive. i wish the president would have given me a call and i would have said mr. president don't impose this on the entire nation. that is the wrong course. america said no to a volunteer in every way they possibly could. >> the mandates are right for some states. >> what we did in massachusetts is a decision massachusetts makes and i understand the most recent poll there about by a
factor of 3-1 people support that plan but we also have in massachusetts a curriculum for our school system and all of our schools teach to the same curriculum but at the president were to take the massachusetts school curriculum and say i'm now going to impose it on the nation it would be wrong and it might be unconstitutional. is simply wrong for the federal government and the president to shred the constitution by saying we are not going to believe in federalism or state authorities, stay responsive loyalty. we are going to washington tell people how to live their lives and that is simply un-american and it won't work in the wrong way to deal with health care or are most anything else. >> we have to move forward. going to and enough question from anthony from amherst. if you were elected president we engage in foreign military action without a congressional declaration of war? >> the most important thing of course is to protect the american people and there are circumstances where immediacy is necessary but if we are going to engage in more of course you go
to congress and received congressional support. and the circumstances would determine the degree of the congressional support necessary but obviously i would intend to follow the constitution. as president of the united states, i first responsibility is to protect the security and and a the life and the well-being of the american people and i would do so. >> not long ago the president outlined his plans for afghanistan and a troop drawdown. what do you think the policy should be there? are there parts of what he is doing that you agree with or disagree with? >> i think the surge was the right course but the president really doesn't have a policy. is more of a hit or miss. he responds to events as they occur and with any kind of policy that has that characteristic, you have some successes and some failures. i think the search was a success. i think a failure was announcing to the taliban the dates you are going to withdraw because while they may not have watches they do have calendars and it makes
it very difficult to negotiate with someone or to drive into the bargaining table or drive them away if they know they only have to hide out for certain period of time and they can come back in because you were gone. i think that was a mistake on his part. i think it was a mistake not to oversee the elections in such a way the government elections, to make sure they were held in a way that had public confidence in a government that was not corrupt and was focused on getting the country back on its feet. >> i think there are some lessons learned. one is that we have been there 10 years and it is time for the afghan people to be able to take responsibility for preserving the independence which has been fought for so valiantly by our soldiers. our men and women have made extraordinary sacrifices they are and frankly and other places in the history of this great nation. we do want to see the afghans pick up the responsibility for the effort that goes forward and the determination of when to pull our troops out should come as a result of the input of the people closest to the
battlefield and that is the generals and the leaders on the ground. i think the president should be listening more to them as david cameron in the u.k. did and lost to a political or economic timetable. >> i would like to ask about libya. i know you don't agree with the method in which we got involved there. now we are there do need to stay in your opinion until gadhafi is out of power? >> we would like to see gadhafi out of power but the president came to the american people and the congressional leaders and said look we are going in and a humanitarian mission. we are going to have a no-fly zone to make sure gadhafi can't bomb his own people and that mission changed. it crept into being a mission of regime change and supporting a new government in libya. our focus really ought to be on egypt by the way where there are 80 million people rather than libya where there are 6 million people but going back to libya, i would like to see gadhafi replaced that i would like to see the president of the united states explained to the american
people what it is he intends to do there. who it is that is going to be managing this country if gadhafi is taken out? what our military mission will be. this is something he has not done yet. the last communication met in libya from our president was that this was a humanitarian mission. >> that kind of goes back to mark's original question i'm amherst, do you get involved without congressional approval? this is called a humanitarian mission. given what was taking place there unfolding what steps would you have taken? >> there are three choices the president had an libya. the first recital betook in history will tell us. the first choice was to pick up the phone or through diplomatic channels to get in touch with gadhafi and say if you attack your people with artillery or aircraft we are going to come bomb the heck out of you and your country and you want to recognize we are going to protect those people from a humanitarian disaster and you better back off. that is the teddy roosevelt approach. >> softly and carry a big stick.
>> kenya signal intense. >> gadhafi said all these present -- positive things. i hope he told me do those things and we will come after you. i think that should have caused gadhafi to pull back. that is what i would have done. number three is to sort of model and to a we are going to change the regime there and i think that is where we ended up and is not what he told the american people. >> the next question comes from the audience, dr. benjamin from hanover. >> governor romney, president george w. bush used a federal probe graham no child left behind in an effort to improve the quality of our k-12 education system. other republicans believe that the states should be left to reform their educational systems without federal mandates be they funded or unfunded. what is your strategy for improving public education and what is your rationale for it? >> my strategy for public
education improvement has been shown in my leadership in massachusetts which is that and this wasn't just me by the way. it was prior governors and prior legislators in massachusetts. we said we are going to test their kids every year just like no child left behind director for the nation and we are going to have high standards. we are not going to let kids graduate from high school and less they have passed a graduation exam. i came in as governor and that was put to the test for the first time. would we actually insist on passing the exam to award a graduation certificate and i said yes. it was a bit of a battle on a couple of friends. those high standards, testing our kids allowing the state to take over a school that failed on a multiple year basis and expanding school choice. we have charter schools now in massachusetts and they are doing very well. those choices have driven massachusetts schools to being number one in the nation. that is the right approach. i think school choices and improvement of education happens best of the state level not at the federal level.
my view is encourage states to experiment and learn from one another and you see states like florida for instance that jeb bush is governor. i think he has put very innovative ideas to get schools to compete and compare one with another and has driven florida just like massachusetts, driven florida to be among the highest in the performing states in the nation. >> thanks very much question. way of less than two minutes i want to paraphrase a question for you from the audience on contentious building. as president how can we get -- and which of the president be doing and what would you do to start building some sort of common theme? >> i had a great advantage and it didn't feel like it at the time but getting elected governor of massachusetts i had a legislator -- legislature that was slightly democrat. it is 87% democrat and i recognized if you get anything done i had to get along. so i met every monday morning or monday afternoon rather, what
the senate president and with the speaker of the house and a couple of other leaders in each party and we talked about the challenges the state faces. we established a relationship of trust and respect and that allowed us to work together and find common ground. we often disagreed. i.v..i believe some 800 or more measures so that disagreement is pretty clear but we also found places for common ground and if you respect people across the island recognize that republicans, democrats and independents mack, we have differing views about how to express that into what is right for the people but we do love the country and we can find common ground. if you have leaders that are willing to put behind any idea of re-election and instead focus on the job they were elected to do which is to help the american people that is what we need in america today. we have too many politicians in too few statesmen. that is something i hope to bring to the white house. >> governor thank you raiment. unfortunately time did fly. reminder the series will continue to.the summer on wmur
but while we are signing off i want you to keep his mind. this conversation with governor romney will continue on on line. you will find if full 30 minutes for questions from the audience. you will also be able to re-watch this half hour in case you missed something or catch another conversation with another candidate who has already appear. we hope to see back here you back here next time. until then, a big tank is for studio audience in a big tank is to former massachusetts governor, mitt romney. [applause] fcc commissioner robert mcdowell on the fcc's actions this week to begin cracking down on unauthorized service charges on consumers phone bills. that and other issues in front of the sec on "the communicators" on c-span2. >> have you ever visited the library of congress?
over 2 million people have a now this is your chance to tour the world's largest library. tonight joined c-span for a look inside the library of congress. we will take you into the great hall and explore the main reading rooms. you will find unique books and the rare books and special collections including original books from thomas jefferson's personal collection and we'll see how the libraries using modern technology to discover hidden secrets and to preserve its holdings for future generations. join us for the library of congress tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. >> the senate has completed its business for the day and will gavel and tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.. earlier on the floor of majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell discussed the federal debt and deficit including a possible weekend session. senator mcconnell also responded to the president's nomination of the director of the new consumer financial protection bureau. this is 10 minutes.demoats
>> senate democrats sat down with secretary tim geithner and a picture he painted is as follows. a that is p a picture of what our world would look like if then ft republicans in congress force this nation for the first time in history and he called on his financial obligations. the picture was really graham. this is how we describe the state of our government. the state of our government if congress allows thishis unprecedented default is quote lights out. he said default would result inn a complete quote loss of capacity and function as a government and of quote. even those who believe small government should be small enough to drown in a bathtub have to admit that a total shutdown of even the most basic lists essential functions of government is veryost scary. t it wouldn't be good for the american people and this certainly wouldn't be good for our certauldn economy. no
the senate has no more important task thantask making sure the ud states united states continues to pay t our bills and preexistg obligations like socialnow,'ve security. now i've spoken to the presidents officeice today. a i have a phonecall scheduled with him andwi rescheduled late. i talk to his people and he understands the importance on the responsibilities that we have.oi and because of that, we are going to stay in session every day including saturdays and sundays until congress passes legislation. i've spoken to republican leaders and he understands the necessity o we have a lot ofngs t things to. a not as many things as normal but extremely important thingse. that are going to take time so t know it is really inconvenient to have people rearrange their schedules. this means saturdays and sundays and mondays. we have
continuously.ed secretary geithner describe how 80 million checks every day would likely simply stoppedn coming.fe the federal government would in effect go dark. ira paychecks for troops in the afghanistan and iraq and bases around the world would stop. the faa could shut down. so could the fbi and the cia ant border crossings could close.foa safety inspections of food americans eat and cargo that enters our ports could hault. literally every function of sec government could seize. social security checks, payments to our veterans. no there would be no discussion on which operations personal or essential. all the payments would very likely. stopped. some have said we could prioritize which bills to pay. even if that would irreparably damage the nations reputation
and the global economy and the global community which it would, is also a complete fiction. our government won't even behe able to cover the b bills due on august 3. it will simply run outun of monr and because we will be in default and our credit rating trash we will be able to borrow money -- even if we wanted to. bad is the picture secretary geithner panned and like if said it is graham. this understandagues this. they know what is kno at stake.t it is not blanket for sure. but to irresponsible say default would not be an unmitigated disaster who don't know what they're talking about and are twisting the truth for again. americans have gotten the message.71% of 71% of the american peopledhis disapprove of the way republicans have used this crisis to force ideologicalhe ps agenda. it even the majority of republicansth disapprove of the
compromise to put our entire nation or race. those who say this crisis would be a blip on the radar are a wrong. default would be a plaguegue tht could haunt and what haunts would haunt the nation for yearn to come.year t our credit rating would take years to rebuild. wou the country would never ever be the same. some will say this is an exaggeration but it is not. treasury secretary geithner tols us and business leaders in congress andco rating agencies d bankers, this country defaultsob on its obligations they sayliins secretary geithner for certain says and i quote it will bel b h worse than the great depressio " mac. m it would make the massive financial crisis of 2008 with mild.thro it will make what we just went through look like a plain little crisis secretary geithner said. i repeat, it will make what we just wenthrou through look at tt
quaint little crisis. that quaint little crisis ledth5 the loss of almost 5 millionil american jobs and caused their d banking system to nearly collapse. moretem than 34 trillion, mr. president that is million,ps that is not alien, it is trillion.t' more than $34 trillion of wealth was destroyed in less than twohe years.ippl the ripples will fail throughout the nationthrougho and around tn the average american family loss $100,000.400000 families were poverty.nto fat crisis was minor geithneralo said compared to the potential fallout from the u.s. default..s no one should second-guess whaty i said. g secretary geithner thinks would have takenei place with the wall street collapses minorla but it. minor compared to what he believes would happen if we defaulted on ours debt. the leading business and
economic base of our time said it again and again, the risk of default are unthinkable and it would you catastrophe. of te secretary geithner also said we are running out of time to avoid thisd t iceberg. this huge iceberg mr. president is in the ocean and are shipped is headed toward t it. the rating agencies have already placed our aaa credit rating under review and in a and it could downgrade it at anyw timeh this is what secretary geithner said and again i quote. the o eyes of the country -- tha eyes of the world around us and we need to be sure we stand together and send a signal that we are going to take theoing to necessary steps to avoid default. mr. president i ask what will il take when our republican colleagues to wake up to the t fact that they're playing a game of political chicken with the entire they must wake up soon mr. president.ognized.
>> mr. president? >> the republican leader is . recognized. >> let me go to the initial remarks of the majority leaderiy with regard to the decision which in this particular instance i think we would agree is mutual decision and we need to stay in every day until we resolve this crisis confrontingc our country.ty so i concur with what the majority leader has said and i will stay here every day, monday through sunday and get this o problem fixed or our country.d p >> i would hope thee republican nt leader noticed the tone and content ofe my statement where e did not lump republicans into one big bundle here. >> i:my friend the majority leader.. this is a pivotal week fors america.pe two years of reckless spending and debt have brought us to the pointav
americans will see how they are elected representatives decide to resolve it. be onli the one side are those who believe that failing to reign iw spending now would be calamitous and that a government which cause 42 cents for every dollar it spends needs to sober up.wain washington needs strong medicins to heal it spending addiction d now, not a false promise to do it later.o wt on the other side are those whoa want to pretend the status quo is acceptable, that everything will be fine if we praise current spending habits in plac, raise taxes on small businesses and do long-term fiscal imbalance that imperils ourmy economy.he republicans are trying to persuade the president of the need for a course of correction led weeks of negotiations havevt shown that his commitment to big government is simply too great o to lead to the kind of long-term reformsre we need to put us on a path to balance and economic
growth. song we have decided to bring o, case to the american people and that is why this week republicans in the house and inr the senate will push for legislation that would cut government spending now, cap it in the future and which only raises the debt limit if it is accomplished, if it is accompanied by a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. c the cut, cap and balance plan ih thein kind of strong medicine washington needs and the an p want.eople and republicans in both houses of congress will be pushing it aggressively thisly week. democi i heard one of my democraticxi colleagues sayst yesterday that the vote simply don't exist to pass any bill in the senate that balances the budget. my question is why in the world not?at if you can't vote for a bill w that says you will live within your means then you have given up and you agree that the unsustainable path is the only one wepay have.y and that is really completelyn
unacceptable.s a every single republican in the senate supports a balanced budget amendment. for all we need is for 20 democrats to join us and by my count at least 23 of them have led theira constituents to believe that they would actually fight forgh it. so my message to senate democrats this week is this. thi i would suggest you think long and hard about whether youan wil vote for cut cap and balance legislation that the house isnon taking up tomorrow.ly not only is this legislation just the kind of thing washington needs right now, itn may be the only option we have if you want to see the debt limit raised at t all. cal the white house is called for a balanced approach in this debate. act a bill that actually balancesomg our books is coming to the senate floor this very week.ic i strongly urge my democratic friends to join us inn supportid it.k some of said they think this bill goes too far. due with all due respect i think b most americans believe congress and the white house have gone i
too far in creating the fiscal mess we are in right now. it is time for real action and time to show the american people where a we stand and it is timeo balance our books.at now on another matter mr. president. hisom earlier today the president announces nominee to run the consumer financial protectionea. board -- bureau. woul remind him that senate republicans still aren'tinroving interested inny improving anyone to the position until the president agreespp to make this massive new government bureaucracy more a accountable d transparent to the american tr people. on may the fifth of this year 44 republican senators signed a letter to theors president stal quote we will not support the consideration of any nominee regardless of party affiliation to be the cfpb director untiltoi the structure of the consumer financial protection euro is reformed.form." and we have been very clear about what these reforms would need to look like.
republicans have voiced our von serious concerns over theb creation of the cfpb because it represents a government driveno solution to a problem government helped create. we have no doubt that h without proper oversight the cfpb will only multiply the kind of burdem countless burdensome regulations that is holding our economy back rightac now. h and that it will have countless unintended consequences for individuals and small businesses that constricts credit, stifle growth and destroyob jobs. that is why everyone from floresta community bankers i oppose its creation in the first place. that is why we will insist on serious reforms to bring accountability and transparency to the agency before we consider any nomineefo to run it. year it took to present a year to nominate someone tonominate this position and i hope he won't wait that long to address our c concerns andb bring the cfpb the accountability and transparency it currently